During the late Gothic era a double-cup, composed of two cups—near in size, with one inverted into the other so that each can function alternately as base or bowl—served to mark such important events as a wedding or a dignitary’s visit. This double-cup, made by Hans Petzolt, a preeminent goldsmith in Nuremberg, a city known for superb precious-metal work, translates the century-old form into new Renaissance splendor. Petzolt drew upon an array of Renaissance motifs, including an elegantly chased relief of foliate scrolls and intricately formed, grotesque caryatids, to create a richly ornamented solid silver surface. Single portraits of Jacob Starck, a senior Burgermeister of Nuremberg, and his wife Elisabeth, née Usler von Goslar, can be seen in the bowl of either cup with their individual family arms in silver depicted under the foot. A tour de force of the goldsmith’s art, this magnificent vessel was created for display rather than use.
From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist Hans Petzolt, German, 1551-1633
  • Double-Cup
Date 1596
Medium silver, gold
Dimensions Overall: 21 1/4 × 7 1/8 inches (54 × 18.1 cm)
Credit Line Museum Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund
Accession Number 2003.65.2
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View European: Medieval and Renaissance W230, Level 2 (see map)
Marks Stamps, on exterior of each bowl and on rim of each foot: [maker's mark, a ram's head within a shield] [the town mark for Nuremberg, an "N" within a shield]
Stamp, on the foot, between maker's mark and town mark: [a French post-1893 import mark, two tiny stamps that look like two dots.]
Marks, in ink: [inventory numbers] 'R.B.K. 1954-21' (Rijksmuseum) and 'NK 3220' (Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit)
Inscriptions Inscribed, on four silver medals made by Mathias Carl [born in Augsburg; master in Nuremberg, 1585]:
[1st medal: Portrait of Jacob Starck] IACOB STARCK ZVM RECKEN: AETA: 46 Ao. 96 [translation: Jacob Starck zum Recken at the age of 46 in the year [15]96]
[2nd medal: Starck family arms] IN TIMORE DOMINI FORTITVDO NOSTRA [translation: Our strength is in the fear of the Lord]
[3rd medal: Portrait of Elisabeth Starck] ELISAB: STERCK: GEB: V: VSLER V: GOSLAR AETA: 41 [translation: Elisabeth Starck, born von Usler von Goslar, at the age of 41]
[4th medal: Usler von Goslar arms] GOTT ALLEIN DIE EHR + 1596 [translation: To God alone the honor, 1596]
Jacob Starck [1550-1617] (Nuremberg, Germany);
probably by 1885, Baron Mayer Carl von Rothschild (Frankfurt, Germany);
June 12-13, 1911, sold by (Galerie George Petit, Paris, France) "Orfèverie Allemande Pierres Dures Montées provenant de l'ancienne collection de Feu Mr. le Baron Carl Mayer de Rothschild de Francfort," lot 25;
(J. and S. Goldschmidt, Frankfurt Germany);
by 1912, Eugen Gutmann;
1925, bequeathed to his son Fritz Gutmann;
1940, confiscated by the German National Socialist (Nazi) government;
1945-1946 until 2002, Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit [later renamed Instituut Collectie Nederland] (Netherlands);
2002, returned to the heirs of Fritz Gutmann;
June 11, 2003, sold by (Christie's, London, England) "Important Silver Including Three Magnificent Renaissance Silver-Gilt Works of Art from the Collection of Fritz and Eugen Gutmann," lot 162;
(Galerie Neuse, Bremen, Gemany);
2003-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Luthmer, F. Der Schatz des Freiherrn Karl von Rothschild. Meisterwerke alter Goldschmiedekunst aus dem 14-18 Jahrhundert, 1885, pl. 47. [The cup illustrated appears to be identical to the present example, but the list of illustrations notes, presumably erroneously, that the cup bore a maker's mark which is now known to be that of Alexander Treghart.]

von Falke, O. The Art Collection of Eugen Gutmann. Berlin, 1912, p. II, cat. no. 114 and pl. 27.

von Falke, O. "Die Neugotik im deutschen Kunstgewerbe der Spätrenaissance." Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen 40 (1919): p. 85, pl. 5.

Rosenberg, M. Der Goldschmiede Merkzeichen. Frankfurt, 1925, vol. 3, p. 124, no. 4033 b.

Honour, H. Goldsmiths and Silversmiths. New York, 1971, pp. 87-88 (ill.).

Hayward, J. Virtuoso Goldsmiths and the Triumph of Mannerism, 1540 - 1620. London, 1976, p. 384, pl. 482

Hernmarck, C. The Art of the European Goldsmith, 1430 - 1830. London, 1977, vol. 2, p. 46 (fig. 118).

Important Silver Including Three Magnificent Renaissance Silver-Gilt Works of Art from the Collection of Fritz and Eugen Gutmann. Sales cat., Christie's. London, June 11, 2003, pp. 156-161.

Glanville, P. "Mayer Carl von Rothschild of Frankfurt: Collector and Patriot." The Magazine Antiques (October 2005): pp. 144-149 (ill.).

Darr, Alan. P. and Brian Gallagher. "Recent acquisitions (2000-2006) of European sculpture and decorative arts at The Detroit Institute of Arts." The Burlington Magazine 149, no. 1251 (June 2007): p. 450, pl. V (ill.).

Bulletin of the DIA: Notable Acquisitions, 2000–2015, vol. 89, no. 1/4 (2015), p. 27 (ill.).